Neon Rainbow Pride Nails

It’s June, and pretty much the entire month is associated with Pride celebrations. I was playing with drag diva pianist Jacqueline Jonée for her shows, so I wanted to do a set of rainbow nails to complement her “50 Shades of Jonée” theme. I’ve been itching to try out my neon powders with stamping, so keep reading to see how this was achieved!

I started by painting all my nails black with Black Lace, a color from Sephora’s ancient “5 day shine” series of nail lacquers. This polish was part of a set that was gifted to me for my birthday 9 years ago, and it still works great!

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2 coat swatch of Black Lace from the Sephora 5 day shine collection.

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Glam Punk Sheep Nails

I had the wonderful opportunity to play with New Camerata Opera last week for their double bill of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Savitri by Gustav Holst. Everyone sounded amazing, but I was especially inspired by the costuming for the production of Venus and Adonis. They went for an MTV 80’s glam rock/punk interpretation of this 17th century opera with vibrant neon pinks and black mesh, leather, and lace.

After our first dress rehearsal, I promptly went home and created these nails.

I started by painting my nails white with Laguna Moon Classic Soak-Off UV-LED Gel Polish in color CL361.

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2 coats of gel polish were applied with each coat cured at 30 seconds with a UV/LED lamp.

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Santa’s Sleigh Xing Sign Nails

We’re in the home stretch to Christmas, so I had to get at least one Christmas themed manicure in before the big day.  Inspired by road signs, I decided to paint a “Sleigh Crossing” version to warn people to look out for Santa and his reindeer.

To start, I painted my nails with 2 coats of white polish.

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b.m.c. nail lacquer in white.

To make my road sign noticeable, I used neon yellow powder that glows under blacklight.

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Born Pretty Neon Phosphor Powder in color #11.

To use this powder, you must apply a gel top coat over your nails and cure it for about 15 seconds so that the surface stays tacky, then apply the powder with a sponge applicator.  Being neat is a strong plus here.  You don’t want to get the top coat pooling in your cuticles or sides of your nail bed because things will look really messy, and using a latex barrier on your skin will aid with the clean up process.

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After applying the powder over the gel top coat, my nails have a matte look.

You will want to use a fan brush to dust away any excess powder from your nails before applying another layer of gel top coat to seal in the color.  The powder can easily contaminate the brush and bottle of top coat, so if you are truly paranoid, you might consider pouring out a small amount of top coat into a separate container for use with this manicure to keep things neat.

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Once the gel top coat is applied and fully cured, my nails achieve a highlighter yellow color.

The Santa and reindeer silhouettes were painted freehand with a detail brush and craft smart acrylic paint in black.  I really wished that I had a stamping plate that I could have used for this step, but it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve tried to paint.

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Warning: Sleigh Xing!

The reindeer were the hardest elements for me to paint.  I had to redo at least one nail completely because I didn’t like how it was turning out.  The best part about having gel top coat sealing the neon base is that you can wipe away the paint on top without messing up the color underneath.

If you decide to attempt the freehand here, I find that it is easier to start by painting the shape of the body, then add the tail, legs, head, and antlers.  That’s my method, but hey, what do I know about painting animals?  Truth be told, I was cursing the whole time about how I can’t paint reindeer!

So while the design looks the most impressive under a blacklight, sadly they do not glow in the dark.  Seeing as you don’t encounter blacklights in many places, people can’t truly appreciate the full effect of these nails.  They’re still pretty festive, so you might want to attend a rave just for fun with these on.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate!  Happy polishing!

 

 

Glow in the Dark Christmas Light Nails

The holidays are upon us!  In a week, it will be Christmas, and I got my lights up just in time…  on my nails.

I know other people have done the Christmas lights thing before, so to make mine different, I used some glow in the dark nail polish that I got from Born Pretty Store (use code RSSPX31 for 10% off).  Way to light things up!

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How awesome are these neon glow in the dark colors under blacklight? These are polishes by BK in 02, 04, 06, 10 and 18.

I wanted to mimic strings of lights hung in a window, so I used black polish (Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora) for my base.

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Dark Matter by Formula X for Sephora make a very chic looking mani by itself.

I started the artwork by painting green lines across my nails with a striping brush.  Most people like to put loops of lights in their design, but as cute as that looks, how often do you ever see people hang their lights up like that?  The wires are usually pretty straight yet somewhat crooked from being wound up inside a box.

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Green wire is painted on with a striping brush and green acrylic paint by craft smart.

The glow in the dark polishes aren’t very opaque, so to make them stand out against a black background, I decided to paint the light bulbs across the wire with white acrylic paint and a detail brush first.

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The base coat for the light bulbs consists of white acrylic paint from craft smart to help make the colors pop.

Next I used a dotting tool to apply a generous blob of different colored BK luminous polishes over the white bulbs.

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Pretty Christmas lights!

The magic happens when you turn on a blacklight.  The colors really pop!

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My Christmas lights are on!

In terms of how well these light up in the dark on their own…  I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything glow in the dark for a very long time.  Even after “charging” the nail polish under a bright light (or black light) for a minute, I only get a few seconds of happiness before they fade to black again.  But you better believe that I’m keeping these on for when I go out this weekend!  I know there’s got to be a black light on somewhere!

Hope you enjoy this holiday season and take some time to enjoy the beautiful decorations that are up!  Happy polishing!